Monday, January 22, 2018


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The People You Serve

            Welcome to 2018.

            Congratulations go out to those who have taken their seats in local government over the past few days.  We wish them well as they go about doing the business of the people and hope that they never forget that they must do their best to represent all of the people, all of the time.

            It is not an easy task and there will always be those who don't see things the way you do.  That's when you must ask yourself – am I missing something or did I fail to properly communicate my stand on the issue?  If you covered those two bases then, sometimes, you have to just agree to disagree.

            Don't isolate yourself from the community – in good times or bad.  Embrace the people and vow to be open and honest with them in all of your official duties.  After all, it's their community, too.  The voters entrusted you to do the right thing and make sound decisions.  When making those decisions, share them honestly with the people.

            Share your governing thoughts and feelings early and often.  Don't blind-side the people with decisions before discussion.  Provide facts first and opinions second.  Give the people a chance to react before you make your final decision. Listen and weigh their opinions on governing issues before you spend their money. 

            There was and is too much secrecy in large-scale decisions. That causes distrust between officials and the people.  Stop it – trust the people and you will earn their trust.

            That's right, trust is not automatic just because you won the election. Trust must be earned and the best way is to stop hiding behind closed doors when you're discussing things that could have a large-scale impact on the people of your community.

            Keep the people involved from day one and they'll appreciate it. Lock them out and you will end up feeling their wrath and feeding the divisiveness in the community.

            Leave your personal grudges at the door when you come into a meeting. Conduct yourself in a manner that is befitting an elected, public official. Don't embarrass yourself or the people your represent.

            Know what your responsibilities are and know the law – don't rely on somebody else to do your job. When you are an official and seated on the dais know that every time you speak people will determine your level of competency to hold that seat. Don't let them down.

            You can be firm without being arrogant. You can be understanding without being condescending. You can be considerate without being selfish. You can be compromising without appearing weak.

            You can be lots of things, but most of all be responsible to those you serve.

            The people deserve it.





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